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EU Energy Package with Renewable Energy Directive
- Energy Policy for Europe (EPE) 2007-2008

Updated: June 2012

Index of this Page:

· News. Read
Legislation in the Final Climate & Energy Package (links updated 2009, 2010, 2011). Read

Energy Policy for Europe (EPE) 2007-2008:
· 2008 Developments:

· · EU Climate and Energy Package 2008 Adopted. Read

· · EU Climate and Energy Package Press Release (20.02.2008). Read
· · EU Climate and Energy Package 2008 (Target 2020, EU ETS, State Aid, Action Plan). Read
· · INFORSE-Europe Proposals to Renewable Energy Support in the January 2008 "Package". Read
· 2007 Developments: "Energy for a Changing World". Read
· 2006 Developments. Read


2 May 2012. The EC publishes guidelines for reviewing GHG inventories, which is necessary to set national non-ETS emission limits for 2013-2020. The guidelines were prepared by the EEA with Member States Experts in the EU Climate Change Committee. The review will cover Member States’ emission inventories for the reference years 2005, 2008 and 2010 and should be completed by August 2012. After the review, later this year, the Commission will set the national limits on emissions not covered by the EU ETS for 2013-2010 on the basis of the reviewed and verified emissions data. These national limits on annual non-ETS GHG emissions were previously laid down by the 2009 Effort Sharing Decision. These emissions concern sectors such as transport, buildings, agriculture and waste. Emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) are not included in the Effort Sharing Decision.

1 February 2012. Commission Staff Working Paper about “Analysis of options beyond 20% GHG emission reductions: Member States results”.
It presents the options for moving to a 30% reduction by 2020 and it analyzes the consequences at a Member State level.
Citizens’ summary here.

26 May 2010. The European Commission published a communication: “Analysis of options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage” which analysis the implications for the European Union of the different levels of ambitions (20% and 30% targets). It served to facilitate a more informed debate about the 30% target by 2020.

Legislation in the Final Climate & Energy Package

Renewable Energy Directive, 2009/28/EC.

Revised Emissions Trading Directive.

Decision to reduce greenhouse gases with 20% from 1990 to 2020, including binding national targets for reductions of emissions not covered by EU-ETS (effort sharing), and a general decision to reduce energy consumption by 20% in 2020 compared with projections. The decision follows the proposal 2008/0014(COD).

Directive on geological storage of CO2

Directive on fuel quality that sets reduced levels of greenhouse gases from fuels fir instance with blending of biofuels.

Regulation setting maximum CO2-emissions of averages of new passenger cars sold.

- Energy Policy for Europe (EPE) 2007-2008

2008 Developments:

EU Climate & Energy Package Adopted in December 2008
Just before Christmas 2008, the major EU climate and energy package was adopted with compromises on a new renewable energy directive, EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) after 2012, effort sharing among EU countries to reach a 20% reduction in 2020 from 1990 (up to 30% with an international agreement), subsidies and legislation for carbon capture and storage (CCS), subsidies for new power plants, etc. Compared with the original proposal and the changes proposed by the EU Parliament, the compromise leaves more loopholes for countries to buy emission allowances instead of reducing own emissions and give more allowances for free to greenhouse gas emitters. It leaves important questions of EU financial contributions to a global climate agreement to a coming EU summit in March 2009. The package was agreed among the EU countries December 12, 2008 and was then agreed to by the EU Parliament in the following week. Thus, no second reading was needed.

Climate and Energy Package Developments (2008)
November 2008: EU Parliament Agrees Strengthening the EU Package
After intense negotiations, the EU Parliament agreed to strengthen the climate and energy package in a number of ways. Some of the highlight are:
- 50% of funding from auctioning of ETS emission allowances to be used for climate change mitigation and adaptation to climate change, partly in developing countries.
- renewable energy in transport target (10% by 2020) should include a 2% renewable electricity target and a 2% second generation biofuel target
- stronger greenhouse gas reduction requirements for biofuels in transport.

October 2008: Compromise on Biofuel and Renewables in Transport
As part of a compromise among EU countries on biofuels, also social criteria and workers rights are included in the criteria for sustainable biofuels. Another part of the compromise is a method for inclusion of electricity in transport to reach the target for renewable energy in transport.

July 1, 2008:. Renewable Energy Certificate Compromise, not on Biofuels
In the end of June, a breakthrough was made in the negotiations on the renewable energy directive, when a broad majority of countries agreed upon a proposal from Germany, UK, and Poland. With the proposal it is left to each country to decide to what extent renewables produced in another country in the EU can benefit from its national support scheme and to what extent renewables produced on its territory can benefit from a national support scheme of another country. The Guarantees of Origin (GO) will no longer be tradable throughout EU, as was proposed by the Commission with the Package, but will still give proof of origin of the related renewable energy.
The proposal also includes that countries may make statistical transfers of renewables from one country to another within the EU to fulfill national renewable energy targets

On biofuels the main outstanding issues are sustainability criteria, and how mandatory the 10% target of renewables in transport should be. On sustainability issues questions are how to ensure social and environmental sustainability for production outside the EU if social sustainability (that was not part of the original proposal, but that all countries support) should be reported just by the producers, or by the EU Commission, and if CO2 reductions with biofuels should be 35% increasing to 50% in 2015 (the Slovene Presidency proposal) or more or less, and how to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. On the 10% target, many countries want to make it dependant on the opportunities to supply sufficient amounts of sustainable produced biofuels. A special working group of EU countries is meeting to regularly to discuss biofuel questions.

June 6, 2008:, Energy Ministers held a debate on Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package. The main goal of this debate was to prepare work of the Council, which will be achieved during the French Presidency from July to December 2008. The debate focused on the directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable energy sources. The Presidency report especially stressed that further progress should be made on biofuels assessment.
Read the press release on the EU Council's website. (pdf 239kB)

June 5, 2008: Environment Ministers held a debate on Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package. The debate focused on:
- The EU emission trading scheme (ETS) review
- The effort-sharing (reference year, intermediate target)
- Cross-cutting issues like an adjustment clause enabling Member States to go further than the 20% target
- Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- Sustainability criteria for biofuels (minimum GHG emissions savings requirements, environmental and social criteria)
Environment Ministers confirmed the importance to achieve ambitious targets with the view to facilitate global convergence in the run up of the Copenhagen international meeting (December 2009). However, divisions between Member States remained too deep and no agreement could be found.
Read the press release on the EU Council's website. (pdf 210

May 8, 2008: The EU Parliament’s rapporteur, Claude Turmes (MEP), had sent a draft report to his fellow MEP's on the proposed renewable energy directive. This report proposes to drop the 10% biofuels targets, to strengthen the sustainability criteria for biofuels, and to push for a greater focus on the use of biomass. In addition, Claude Turmes wants in the renewable energy directive to introduce voluntary “Transfer Accounting Certificates” for renewable energy as an alternative to “Certificates of Origin” and to introduce further flexibility mechanisms for governments to reach their renewable energy targets.
The report will be voted in July 2008 in the Environment and Industry Committees. The plenary vote with a possible first reading agreement with the Council will take place in September, 2008.
Source: Read the full article here.

March 13-14, 2008:
at the European Council, Prime Ministers confirmed the 30% GHG reduction target (if other countries join an international agreement) and they called for the adoption of a package of measures at the latest early in 2009, before the election of new EU Parliament and Commission. They acknowledged the importance of a single EU-wide Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) cap instead of the current national caps and an emissions reduction trajectory. They concluded with highlighting the role citizens have to play to change these policies into a success.

Read the conclusions of the European Council on the EU Council's website. (pdf file 188kB)

March 3, 2008: The EU environment ministers had a policy debate on the Energy Package. They welcomed the package including the directions of the proposals for changes in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The ministers concluded that:
- "Carbon leakage" remains a key concern (i.e. energy intensive industries might leave EU in case of high emission costs)
- Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is key for long-term reduction targets
- Sustainability criteria for biofuels is of the utmost importance
- There is a need to reach a final agreement with the European Parliament in early 2009 at the latest.

And negotiations are then continuing.

February 28, 2008: The EU energy ministers had an orientation debate on the Energy Package. Ministers welcomed the package and expressed their support in general to the package and its renewable energy directive.They also found the national targets very ambitious and required substantial flexibility regarding how to reach the targets. They agreed that there is a need for ambitious sustainability criteria for biomass. Some ministers stressed the need for fast adoption of the measures, some found the national targets too ambitious, and some stressed the need for sustainability criteria for all biomass.
Negotiations will now continue to reach an agreement

February 10, 2008: The EU Ministers for Finance and Economy (Ecofin) found that it is important to ensure that the shift toward a low carbon economy won’t harm the competitiveness of the EU industries. They also insisted that incomes for the countries generated by the auctioning of greenhouses gas emissions allowances from EU Emissions Trading should not be subject to mandatory earmarking at EU level and their use should not be opposed to EU climate change targets.
Read the press release of the Ecofin Council on the EU Council's website:
(pdf file 246kB)

EU Climate and Energy Package Press Release 20.02.2008:
INFORSE-Europe's Position
(pdf file 188kB) (20.02.2008)
Press Release (pdf file 76 kB)

EU Climate and Energy Package 2008
January 23, 2008: Following the agreements on a European energy policy and climate targets, the EU Commission launched a packet with legal measures to implement policy targets. It included:

  • Target 2020 - A directive for renewable energy including national targets to reach 20% renewable energy in 2020 by the EU-27 in average, a 10% biofuels target in transport by 2020, sustainability criteria for biofuels/agrofuels, renewable energy (RE) certificates for RE-certificate trading mainly among countries, and others. It will replace directives for renewable energy in electricity supply and transport.
  • EU ETS - A proposal for burden sharing among the EU countries, dividing the targets between sectors covered by EU emissions trading (EU-ETS - about 40% of emissions) and other sectors. The EU Commission will take responsibility for sectors covered by EU-ETS while the proposal sets targets for national targets for the other sectors. The proposal includes a 20% reduction in 1990-2020, which includes a 6% reduction 1990-2005 for the 27 EU countries in average. The reduction target is divided into a 21% reduction of sectors covered by EU-ETS for 2005-2020, and a 10% average reduction of sectors not covered by EU-ETS in 2005-2020, with national targets ranging from 20% reductions to 20% increases for some former socialist countries that had large reductions in 1990-1995. Germany have taken the lead with national strategies for 40% greenhouse gas reductions and 30% renewable energy by 2020.
  • State Aid - A revised guidelines for state aid that allows higher state-aid for renewable energy; but introduces state aid for Carbon Capture and Storage.
  • Action Plan - An evaluation of national energy efficiency action plans, following the Energy Service Directive

Read more about the EU Energy Package 2008 on the EU Commission's Integrated Proposal on Climate Action website.

INFORSE-Europe Proposals to Renewable Energy Support in the January 2008 "Package"
INFORSE-Europe welcomes the climate and energy package but regrets the lack of plans to reach 30% greenhouse gas reduction 1990-2020 and also regrets the proposal to allow state aid for Carbon Capture and Storage. See Press Release. 23.01.2008, (pdf file 76 kB).

INFORSE-Europe maintains that the EU renewable energy target shall be 25% renewable energy by 2020, equal to an average increase of 18% in the EU countries from 2005 (7% in 2005 + 18% = 25%). Read also EU Renewable Target.

It is essential for the success of this that the support mechanisms for renewable energy are effective and that they lead to development of renewable energy in all 27 EU countries. The experience with the success of the German wind power and solar energy use shows that even countries with less favorable weather conditions for renewable energy can successfully develop their renewable energy sector. The key is a support system that provides long-term investment security such as the feed-in regulation for renewable electricity. The proposed system for certificates of origin can threaten effective national support schemes, if it allows trade outside of the national frameworks. It is important that the current proposal is changed to ensure better that this will not happen.

Renewable Heating and Cooling
The EU will not reach the 20% renewable energy target without sufficient focus on renewable heating and cooling that must be supported similarly to renewable electricity. Policies to promote renewable heating and cooling must be sufficient to realise the targets and must match the many small heating systems that exist, e.g. in individual houses, as well as larger systems with district heating and for industrial processes. As a set of general policies for promotion of renewable heating and cooling that will be important for all EU countries INFORSE-Europe proposes:
- Awareness raising campaigns targeted to the potential users as well as training of heating professionals, including designers and architects
- Consumer information with independent information, targeted to heat users that are about to change or renovate their heating systems
- Financial incentives with investments subsidies for introduction of renewable heating and cooling in new sectors and with new technologies,
- Loans and loan guarantees for renewable heating and cooling,
- Obligations to cover a minimal share of the heat demand from renewables and to integrate passive heating and cooling designs in new buildings and those undergoing major renovation, as part of building regulations.
- Preference over fossil-fuel based heating, including in district heating. This must include feed-in systems as for renewable electricity.
- Demonstration projects for innovative applications less close to competitiveness, like renewable cooling and solar process heat
- Continued research and development to improve technologies, solutions and integration into buildings and energy systems

The support schemes for renewable heat should be limited to heat production where inputs of fossil energy and electricity together are less than 20% of the heat produced. It should also be limited to sustainable use of biomass.

For some countries other measures should supplement above list:
- In countries with cooling demands are needed specific, stronger incentives to promote renewable cooling, as it is at an earlier stage of market development than most heating applications
- In countries that receive structural funds the must be increased use of this funding for renewable heating and cooling, as well as for other renewables. Strategies to achieve this must be implemented.

Renewable Transport
Renewable Energy in transport is the third pillar for the development of renewable energy in Europe, even though it is less important to reach a 20-25% target in 2020 than the electricity and heating/cooling sectors. INFORSE-Europe welcomes that the10% biofuels target is effectively replaced with a 10% sustainable transportation targets that should lead to increased focus on electric and hydrogen driven transportation as well as measures to reduce transport demand and promote more efficient modes of transport, such as electric trains. Given current, large problems with sustainability of biofuels INFORSE-Europe also proposes a moratorium on support and import of biofuels from large-scale monocultures (agrofuels). This must be in place until the most urgent sustainability problems of agrofuel developments are solved, such as the destruction of rainforest in Indonesia and Brazil that pushes these countries to the top of the list of world greenhouse gas emitters, and the many social problems related to expanded agrofuel use.

Renewable Gas
To supplement the promotion of renewable electricity, heating/cooling and transport, renewable-based gas production must enjoy the same rights to feed into gas networks at a fair price that renewable electricity production do.

Stop of subsidies for fossil fuel and nuclear energy
All subsidies and tax preferences for fossil fuels and nuclear energy over renewable energy must be ended. This includes ending lower VAT on fossil fuels than on renewable energy equipment and fuels.

Sustainability of Biomass
Promotion of renewable energy must be followed by criteria for sustainable use of renewable energy. There is a specific need to address sustainability issues of biomass for energy, including biofuels. In addition to the moratorium of support and import of agrofuels, INFORSE-Europe proposes the following measures for sustainability of biomass in the EU:
- Support schemes for biomass should be limited to biomass that is produced in sustainable ways
- For biomass heating equipment should be introduced progressive standards and labelling systems for energy efficiency and air pollution. The standards should be strengthened every 5 years. Countries with high use of biomass should be allowed to introduce higher standards to avoid local air pollution problems in areas with large biomass combustion. This should be followed by regular inspection of air pollution as part of mandatory safety checks of boilers and ovens with visual inspection of chimney.
- For all biomass use, efficient use must be promoted, and inefficient use excluded from support and targets. An example of a inefficient use to be excluded is large-scale biomass fueled power production with low efficiency power plants without use of the heat produced.
INFORSE-Europe Position on a file (pdf, 160 kB)

2007 Developments: "Energy for a Changing World"
March 8-9, 2007, the EU Prime ministers agreed upon an Energy Policy for Europe (for EU-27) including a firm commitment to increase renewable energy to 20% of primary energy supply in 2020 for the 27 EU-countries combined, increase energy efficiency with 20% by 2020 and increase biofuel in transport fuels in sustainable ways to 10% by 2020. They also agreed on a 30% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 1990 - 2020 on the condition that other countries also commit to reductions, and with a view to reduce GHG emissions 60-80% by 2050. If an international agreement is not possible, they agreed that the EU countries should reduce GHG emissions at least 20% for the period 1990 - 2020.

Further the EU leaders agreed to:
-better functioning of internal energy markets with better separation of production and transmission companies,
-increased international cooperation to secure energy supply and to cooperate with other energy importing countries on energy efficiency and renewable energy
-the development of a new directive on renewable energy
-strengthened cooperation on four high-priority Trans-European networks, including an off-grid electric network for off-shore windpower, an electric link from Germany and Poland to the Baltic countries (Baltic link), and a gas connection between Turkey and Austria (Nabucco pipeline)
-continue and strengthen ongoing energy and climate policies such as the Action plan on Energy Efficiency and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme that will be evaluated and might be expanded to land-use emissions and transport.

See: EU Presidency Conclusions and INFORSE-Europe Press Release (March 2007).

February 20, 2007, the EU environmental ministers agreed at their meeting a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target 1990 - 2020 on the condition that other industrialized countries also commit themselves to greenhouse gas reductions and that the more advances developing countries take similar measures. They also agreed that if no global agreement is reached for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, the EU-27 will in any case reduce with 20% in the period 1990 - 2020.

February 15, 2007, the EU energy ministers agreed at their meeting to support a 20% renewable energy target for 2020 for the EU-27; but did not agree specific targets for renewable electricity, heating & cooling or transport energy. They did, however, agree a target of 10% biofuels in transport fuels.

January 10, 2007, the EU Commission released its energy policy package "Energy for a Changing World" The package also includes:
- a communication “An Energy Policy for Europe”
- a “Renewable Energy Roadmap”
- a progress report on renewable electricity
- a progress report on biofuels for transport
- report on the implementation of the regulation of the internal electricity and gas markets
- a priority interconnection plan for electricity and gas
- a communication on carbon capture and storage
- a communication of a Strategic Energy Technology Plan
- a nuclear power illustrative program with potential future scenarios for nuclear power

See INFORSE-Europe press release 01.2007 (pdf 130kB) and INFORSE-Europe comments 2007 (pdf 41 kB) to the renewable energy roadmap and communications on renewable electricity and biofuels, and EU Commission's Energy Package Page

2006 Developments:

December 14, 2006, the European Parliament agreed a report on the EU Energy Strategy. It includes a call for an EU target for energy efficiency improvements of at least 20% by 2020 and calls on the EU Commission to propose to set binding sectoral targets for renewables in order to achieve 25% of renewables in primary energy by 2020, with a road map at Council and Commission level for reaching a target for renewables of 50% by 2040. In addition, the report calls for an EU 30% reduction of the CO2 target for 2020 and a 60-80% reduction for 2050.

In July-August 2006, the EU Commission made a public hearing about their Green Paper on Energy, where INFORSE-Europe and many others responded.

On March 24, 2006, the EU Heads of State agreed to the strengthening of EU’s energy policies. The leaders discussed a number of issues. They agreed that the discussion should continue; and they agreed regarding the energy policy:

In accordance with a European Commission analysis, they agreed to increase the share of renewables to 15% by 2015 (the target for 2010 is 12%)

They discussed to increase the share of renewable energy (primarily biofuels) to 8% in 2015 (the target is 5.75% in 2010.)

They proposed to increase cross-border energy exchanges to 10% of installed production capacity, so if a country has 10,000 MW of installed power capacity, its electric interconnectors with other countries should be at least 1,000 MW.

INFORSE-Europe and many others welcome that at least some targets are set for renewable energy after 2010, even though the 2015 targets are unambiguous and low compared with the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. INFORSE-Europe has called for a target of 25% renewable energy by 2020, and a specific target of 25% renewable heat and cooling by 2020. Read INFORSE-Europe Position on a New EU Energy Policy (77kB pdf file). INFORSE-Europe will continue to follow the development of a new EU policy and take part in the debate about it.

March 14, 2006, the EU’s energy ministers agreed to the development of a European energy policy and asked the European Council of EU prime ministers to endorse it. They proposed a policy based on the three objectives of security of supply, competitiveness and environmental sustainability. The proposals of the ministers are not a revolution for EU policy; but rather highlighting a number of existing proposals, extending them, and lifting them to higher levels. It is not a go-ahead for renewable energy or energy efficiency, nor is it the green light for nuclear power or carbon sequestration. It is, however, partly a green light for public support and subsidies for gas and electricity infrastructure, which can be worrying seen from an environmental perspective. The ministers conclusion follows the EU Commission Green Paper on Energy from March 8, 2006.

The main proposals of the ministers were:
1. Develop a shared vision for the EU countries of long-term supply and demand.
2. Develop a common foreign and trade policy approach to meet the energy policy
objectives. For the policy is proposed dialogues with energy producer, transit, and (large) consumer countries, revitalize the EU-Russia dialogue, bilateral cooperation on development of sustainable and efficient energy systems, harmonization of energy standards for products at international level.
3. Diversification of external as well as indigenous sources, with support from EU’s R & D programs, and through common approaches with respect to crisis situations.
4. Develop a strategy for exporting the internal energy market approach to
neighboring countries. A specific proposal is to speed up the start of the start of the new South-East European Energy Community and possibly extend it to more countries.
5.Ensure full, effective and transparent implementation of internal market legislation
6. Accelerate the development of regional energy cooperation inside the EU, facilitating the integration of regional markets into and further development and interconnection of
the EU internal market (this is a go-ahead to increase subsidies for gas and electricity infrastructure)
7. Adopt a realistic and ambitious Action Plan on Energy Efficiency. The target of 20% by 2020 is mentioned. In addition is mentioned a specific initiative on energy efficiency in the transport sector.
8. Develop a long-term strategy on renewables (Road map, beyond 2010) and implement the Biomass Action Plan. It includes reduction of legislative and administrative obstacles to renewables by facilitating access to grid, cutting administrative red-tape and ensuring the
transparency, effectiveness and certainty of support policies
9. Complete the review of the EU ETS as an instrument to achieve climate change
objectives in a cost-effective manner

The ministers conclusion does not change fundamentally the energy policy scene; but it paves the way for a process that can be used to boost sustainable energy, nuclear power, carbon capture & storage as well as new energy infrastructure (gas and electricity lines, power plants, etc). In this process priorities have to be made, and there are vested interests that will continue to lobby to limit the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Thus it is crucial that the ideas of increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency are converted into real changes in the policies on EU-level.
Read the Ministerial Conclusions.

March 8, 2006, the EU Commission released a Green Paper on Energy

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